I recently received The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook as a gift. It has been hard to get my attention over the last week, as I have been devouring the pages. Yes, I am one of those strange creatures who reads a cookbook cover to cover. I also highlight, make charts and tab them…a law school education can not go silently into the good night. Rachel Saunders absolute love of fruit comes through on every page and in every photo. Yes I know, it was published in 2010 so I may be late to this party but i think fashionably! And I’m willing to bet a lot of people still don’t know truly what a gem this book is.
I appreciate cookbooks that focus on fundamentals and science, giving you the tools that you need to use to be successful but also let you eventually play and improvise. Rachel makes jam, jelly and marmalade sound divinely simple, if you have the patience. A girl after my own heart. Still, I was drawn to the jams over jelly and marmalade. Rachel speaks of them as labors of love and I wasn’t too sure I had any time. However, my desire to use all the citrus that is overflowing the farmer’s stalls won out.
So I found myself making Lemon and Pink Grapefruit Marmalade. Yes, it took three days but on any given day I only had to work for an hour or two and then sit back and let the fruit make its magic. Mauviel copper pots are the dream in jam making, but if you find yourself sans funds for such an investment any nonreactive material will work. This means ceramic or stainless steel, aluminum is no good. I managed to find within our cupboards enough containers fitting the bill to make this jam in a juggler’s fashion.
In the end I cooked it off in a 5 quart stainless steel pot and two 3 quart stainless steel pots. I had to watch for boil overs a little closer, but all pots came to the setting point at the time Rachel quoted despite the size change.
And now I am swimming in delicious sparkling marmalade. I am also hooked and intend to make at least one jam a season, I will try not to make every single one!
And I can think of no better time for our first JAM giveaway! Simply leave a comment saying how much you like jam by Friday night. Three lucky people will receive a batch of homemade delicious jam. Doesn’t matter where you in the US, it’s coming to you! 🙂